So much for what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
A UC-Berkeley law school grad was handcuffed and taken to prison boot camp today (Oct. 16) for beheading an exotic bird during a drunken chase at a Las Vegas Strip resort.
For Justin Alexander Teixeira, 25, the sentence ends a bizarre saga that attracted widespread attention and ridicule in blogging and social media circles, from Gawker to The Huffington Post. It even drew international curiosity from The Daily Mail in London and other newspapers.
During the Vegas escapade with two other Berkeley students in October of last year, Teixeira was a third-year law at Berkeley Law. He was allowed to graduate in May of this year. Dean Christopher Edley said in an earlier statement that there is not much the school will do to the two students other than alert state bar authorities “of relevant issues. We cannot punish someone because of behavior in Las Vegas or elsewhere that tarnished our image or offended widely shared values–Even if criminal.”
The trio apparently were in Vegas for a weekend of partying with some 40 other Boalties when the killing occurred. As one classmate told it on Nuts & Boalts, a blog maintained by students at the school: “They were alone, I think in the early morning hours (the stories all say the cops came at like 9:30 but this happened a couple hours before I think), but they were definitely still up from the night before and probably deep into a blackout. We are all stunned and really sad.”
All three students were busted after security cameras caught them on video running after the helmeted guineafowl before the body was found at the Flamingo Hotel Wildlife Animal Habitat. The head was found in nearby rocks.
TEIXEIRA ACTED ALONE IN DECAPITATING THE BIRD
Teixeira, along with then-classmates Hazhir Kargaran and Eric Cuellar, were accused of torturing and killing the bird. Cuellar pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in January, and Kargaran pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor charges in May.
Teixeira allegedly acted alone in decapitating the bird so he faced the more severe charges. He pleaded guilty in May to one count of killing another person’s animal. That avoided trial on three felony counts.
Teixeira, who went to Berkeley Law immediately after graduating from UCLA in 2010 with a major in political science and a minor in environmental studies, now has to serve six months in the camp and probation before he can ask to have his felony conviction reduced to a misdemeanor. His friends had pleaded guilty to misdemeanors and were fined and sentenced to community service.